Picture of Basant K. Dwivedi

Basant K. Dwivedi

Class of 2017

Basant K. Dwivedi was born in December 1945, in Arga, India, as the only child of Brahm Bandhu, who died when Basant was two, and his mother Ram Rupa.

With an early dream of becoming an engineer, Basant says he “sees chemicals” in his head, which helped earn him a BS from Panjab University and a University Gold Medal from the President of India before attending the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. There he earned an MS in Food Science and Mycology, before obtaining his PhD in Food Science and Biochemistry/Nutrition in 1972 from the University of Nebraska.

With his degrees in chemistry, food science and engineering, Basant went to work with Booz Allen & Hamilton. Two of his clients were Squibb/Lifesaver and Merck, where he worked on Beech-Nut gum and the development of a throat drop, respectively. Basant visited The Estee Corp. on behalf of a client and potential contract manufacturer and was recruited by the company, working there for 14 years as Vice-President, R&D and Quality Control. The Estee Corp. was one the first companies to offer sugarfree products in the U.S., and Basant developed most of the formulas, recipes and processes.

Leaving Estee, he became President of Nugen Foods in 1989, Vice-President of TkI Foods Inc. in 1993, and the Chief operating officer for Promotion in Motion Cos., Inc. in 1998, where he was behind a “better-for-you” fruit snack. Together with President and CEO Michael Rosenberg, Dwivedi approached Welch Foods to discuss licensing and manufacturing. The Welch’s Fruit Snacks brand was born and has since grown to become the number one fruit snacks line in the U.S. other products Basant has developed include Creamsicle Candy Twists, Nice Throat Lozenges, sugarfree chewing gum, Estee brand low calorie and dietetic products, Sinatra brand sauces, Monari brand sauces and dressings, El Rio brand Mexican items, and Da Vinci Italian products. He has been awarded 11 U.S. and two Canadian patents.

He has organized, chaired and been a frequent presenter at national and international scientific meetings including the International Nutrition Congress, England, 1985; the U.S. State Department’s Project SUSTAIN, US Aid; Calorie Control Council Annual Meetings; a Codex (wHo) Meeting on Special Dietary Foods, Germany, 1982; the Institute of Food Technologists; American Dental Association; American Association of Diabetes Educators; and the American Health Foundation.

Other affiliations include the GMA Technical Committee, the National Chewing Gum Manufacturers’ Association, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Cereal Chemists, as well as being an American Institute of Chemists Fellow. Basant has contributed research papers, books, chapters and reviews to academic and industry publications.

Away from work, he and Pratibha, married in June 1965, raised daughters Surekha and Tara and have four grandchildren — Jonathan, Shawn, Anya and Mira.